If you are wondering why not so many posts or such, it's because I am entering a period of Super Crunch Time(TM). Ironically, I may post more snippets here and there as this will work as Crunch Therapy(R) if any past crunchy crunchies is any indication.
Life is good... want more free time but that will come later (kinda later later). Enjoying my new Japanese Fuji F710 camera a lot. Still need to get the F700 cleaned and ready for sale (have to go to a service center as the camera caught some dust between the lens and the sensor. Happened to me once already).
So I did it. I bought myself a Japanese - no less - FujiFilm Fine Pix F710! This model is the one that is out in Europe and Japan, but supposedly "won't be out in the Americas." I am 90% sure this is BS and this model will be made available probably mid summer to fall (my guess).
Anyway, after seeing some Japanese reviews, decided to sell my F700 and go for it. This marks a record in "amount of time I keep a toy before upgrading" as my F700 is like 6-7 months old. But then I *DO USE* my camera *A LOT* so it's no paper weight.
In short the F710 is "a better F700." Better white balance, 3.75x optical zoom + a bit wider angle. Shutdown time is even faster than the already super fast F700. Using that dial wheel is a pleasure.. and finally a "Fine jpeg compression" mode makes all the jpegs have the detail of an image processed in RAW mode from the F700.
I was concerned about Chromatic Aberrations (Purple Fringing) as the default exposures/apertures seem to have a tad more than the F700 but today I found out you can get rid of them by increasing the aperture number (i.e. reducing the aperture). While this trick works on all cameras usually, on the F700 it doesn't work that well, but on the F710 it work superbly well.
It also looks the macro has been improved and the wide screen while a camera cropping, is nice so you frame the photo and see it on the widescreen as it will go.
The white balance and exposure/aperture algorithms + post processing have definitively been tweaked so the photos do look nicier... also the reds are not super overburned like usual Fuji.. it's all good.
It's truly "a better F700." It's what I wanted and what I got. I am happy.
In case you are interested in this model here is a link to Fuji Europe:
PS: I ordered this from a guy that sells Japanese imported stuff on e-bay by the handle of email@example.com. Payment is through paypal. I have nothing but kind words to say about him. All shipping questions were handled promptly and the camera got here fairly fast after the "whole holiday week" in Japan of two weeks ago (yes, a full week for a holiday.. a Japanese tradition or some festivity thing).
You have the option of buying on e-bay auction wise or "buy now" at a fixed price.
Allright, I saw the E3 presentation this morning and... what I thought would flop will now sell.
What made me change my mind? It's not that it has dual screens... but that it does 3d, has built in wireless and more importantly, it can run all the GBA games for $150.
So yes, it will sell. It will probably sell quite well. And after thinking about it, I can start seeing a couple of uses for the dual screen after all, but I don't think that will be the main reason for it.
One thing is for sure, Nintendo's gamecube is still alive. I think Nintendo is doing better than anybody expected.
BTW, the screens are touchscreen (not sure if the bottom one or both)... I am sure street fighter II will play using the 4 buttons and fierce on the LCD's :-)
The presentation with statistics by Nintendo was laughable though. They skewed the charts visually so it looks much more than what it is, and (Regis?) the speaker seemed like he was a robot. Other than that, I think it will sell.
Some people are wondering if I am still alive. Yes, I am still alive. Thanks for asking.
I have had less and less time lately again... as E3 makes its yearly appearance. Ironically it looks like this week will be a busy one for me, and what was "E3 = vacation time" will be more like "last week, before E3 was that vacation time." On a couple of other updates:
- I have ordered a Fuji Fine Pix F710 from Japan. Yes, my F700 camera didn't last me more than 6-7 months of ownership. I decided to go and buy the F710. Since it has not been announced in the USA yet (it is in Europe and Japan), and I found a reasonable price from a guy that regularly sells Japanese stuff I decided to go for it.
I will let you know when I get it hopefully this week.
- This means I am selling my F700. I got a prospective buyer already - a friend of mine. We'll see.
- I lost the battery/camera charger of my F700. WHEE! I was super pissed today when after searching around my apartment and even in some trash I put there yesterday in the dumpster, I could not find it. Where is it? No idea. This means I will end up probably buying one and I think there's a 90% likehook it's in my apartment *somewhere*. Pisses me off because I was just cleaning yesterday and I did use it yesterday. Oh well.
So if I can't find the damn adapter, that will mean I will have to buy a new one if I want to sell it. GREAT.
Let's "splash the cash" - we are rich right? (NOT).
I'll be at E3 with my ex the whole day on Wednesday. I also got lucky and I got Sony E3 party tickets again this year (we had an internal raffle as we didn't get enough tickets for the whole company to go).
Anyway, I better catch some sleep.. tomorrow it's going to be a long day.
I went tonight to the first-ever video game music concert played by a real orchestra (Walt Disney Philarmonica I think it was), in the whole USA. It's also the first concert in North America from Square-Enix. It was called "Dear Friends. Music from Final Fantasy."
It was good.. pretty good. They has some huge monitors that would show zoom-ins of the musicians, but also scenes from the games while the appropriate music/theme was playing. The concert opened with the Fithos-Venusec (probably slightly mispelled) theme from Final Fantasy 8 and I can tell you, that seeing a whole chorus of people singing the chorus part was wow. They also played the Zanarkand piano theme w/violins while they played the first "sending" of souls of Yuna (from the game) and it was simply breathtakingly emotinoally beautiful.
Nobuo Uematsu ("da man" that has made this beautiful music) was not directing the concert, he was watching it though he was part of the public. I went to the concert with my ex, and by sheer hand of fate, Nobuo's wife was sitting right in front of us along with his parents (Nobuo was sitting kind of more like in the middle of the auditorium - why? I dunno).
It happens that the main character artist (Yoshitaka Amano) and Hironubu Sakaguchi (designer? Bak in FF1 was president of Square, don't know about now) was there too, and all said things through a Japanese translator.
It was pretty cool. You could tell that if Nobuo ever decided to point at someone and say "kill" that person would be dead.
Speaking of which, this was one of the highest concentrations of nerd-types I have seen in a long long time. I was one of them of course, so this is just an observation, not an insult. Even higher than GDC.
When we left, the parents of Nobuo were actually telling several people (including us) "thank you" while bowing. Hmm... I didn't know what to do... it should be me doing the bowing. From what I have seen the bowing goes both ways, but seirously... no idea what to do :-)
"So Raist, where are the wondeful photos taken with your wondeful SR camera?"
Good question. The answer is "no cameras are allowed inside the concert hall." Even so, I think one or two people sneaked in a camera or two.
After the the three luminaires talked a bit and did touch on the subject that "video games have become finally big enough to have a concert of videgame music like this", the musicians erupted with an unexpected finale (after "they were already done") of Sephiroth's music theme. I knew the chorus was not brought for just one song, and the whole place erupted in cheers when the music started to play. I bet the orchestra musicians were probably amazed that all the people there would recognize immediately and with such energy the composition.. of you know ... a videogame :-)